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Psalms 57:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— [[For the Chief Musician; [set to] Al-tashheth. [A Psalm] of David. Michtam; when he fled from Saul, in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; For my soul taketh refuge in thee: Yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I take refuge, Until [these] calamities be overpast.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [[To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— [[For the choir director; [set to] Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [[To the chief Musician, Al-taschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yes, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities are overpast.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— [[To the chief Musician. 'Destroy not.' Of David. Michtam; when he fled from Saul in the cave.]] Be gracious unto me, O God, be gracious unto me; for my soul taketh refuge in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings do I take refuge, until the calamities be overpast.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— [[To the Chief Musician. "Do not destroy." A precious Psalm, of David. When he fled from the face of Saul into the Cave.]] Show me favour, O God, Show me favour, For, in thee, hath my soul sought refuge,—And, in the shadow of thy wings, will I seek refuge, Until the storm of ruin pass by.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— To the Overseer.—'Destroy not.'—A secret treasure of David, in his fleeing from the face of Saul into a cave. Favour me, O God, favour me, For in Thee is my soul trusting, And in the shadow of Thy wings I trust, Until the calamities pass over.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Unto the end, destroy not, for David, for an inscription of a title, when he fled from Saul into the cave. [1 Samuel 24] Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me: for my soul trusteth in thee. And in the shadow of thy wings will I hope, until iniquity pass away.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [[To the chiefe musician Al-taschith, Michtam of Dauid, when hee fled from Saul in the caue.]] Be mercifull vnto mee, O God, be merciful vnto me, for my soule trusteth in thee: yea in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, vntill [these] calamities bee ouerpast.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— [[For the end. Destroy not: by David, for a memorial, when he fled from the presence of Saul to the cave.]] Have mercy, upon me, O God, have mercy upon me: for my soul has trusted in thee: and in the shadow of thy wings will I hope, until the iniquity have passed away.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [[To the chief Musician, Al Tashcheth, Mikhtam of Dawid, when he fled from Shaul in the cave.]] Be merciful unto me, O Elohim, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] calamities be overpast.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[[To the chief Musician, 5329
{5329} Prime
A primitive root; properly to glitter from afar, that is, to be eminent (as a superintendent, especially of the Temple services and its music); also (as denominative from H5331), to be permanent.
<8764> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 685
Al Ta אַל־תַּשׁחֵת, 516
{0516} Prime
'Al tashcheth
{al tash-kayth'}
From H0408 and H7843; Thou must not destroy; probably the opening words of a popular song.
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
Mitm מִכתָּם 4387
{4387} Prime
From H3799; an engraving, that is, (technically) a poem.
of Dwi דָּוִד, 1732
{1732} Prime
From the same as H1730; loving; David, the youngest son of Jesse.
when he fled 1272
{1272} Prime
A primitive root; to bolt, that is, figuratively to flee suddenly.
<8800> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812)
Count - 4888
from 6440
{6440} Prime
Plural (but always used as a singular) of an unused noun (פָּנֶה paneh, {paw-neh'}; from H6437); the face (as the part that turns); used in a great variety of applications (literally and figuratively); also (with prepositional prefix) as a preposition (before, etc.).
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
l שָׁאוּל 7586
{7586} Prime
Passive participle of H7592; asked; Shaul, the name of an Edomite and two Israelites.
in the cave.]] 4631
{4631} Prime
From H5783; a cavern (as dark).
Be merciful 2603
{2603} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2583); properly to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (that is, move to favor by petition).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto me, O lhm אֱלֹהִים, 430
{0430} Prime
Plural of H0433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative.
be merciful 2603
{2603} Prime
A primitive root (compare H2583); properly to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favor, bestow; causatively to implore (that is, move to favor by petition).
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
unto me: for x3588
(3588) Complement
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
my soul 5315
{5315} Prime
From H5314; properly a breathing creature, that is, animal or (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental).
trusteth 2620
{2620} Prime
A primitive root; to flee for protection (compare H0982); figuratively to confide in.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
in thee: yea, in the shadow 6738
{6738} Prime
From H6751; shade, whether literally or figuratively.
of thy wings 3671
{3671} Prime
From H3670; an edge or extremity; specifically (of a bird or army) a wing, (of a garment or bed clothing) a flap, (of the earth) a quarter, (of a building) a pinnacle.
will I make my refuge, 2620
{2620} Prime
A primitive root; to flee for protection (compare H0982); figuratively to confide in.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
until x5704
(5704) Complement
Properly the same as H5703 (used as a preposition, adverb or conjugation; especially with a preposition); as far (or long, or much) as, whether of space (even unto) or time (during, while, until) or degree (equally with).
[these] calamities 1942
{1942} Prime
From H1933 (in the sense of eagerly coveting and rushing upon; by implication of falling); desire; also ruin.
be overpast. 5674
{5674} Prime
A primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literally or figuratively; transitively, intransitively, intensively or causatively); specifically to cover (in copulation).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Psalms 57:1

_ _ Psalms 57:1-11. Altaschith — or, “Destroy not.” This is perhaps an enigmatical allusion to the critical circumstances connected with the history, for which compare 1 Samuel 22:1; 1 Samuel 26:1-3. In Moses’ prayer (Deuteronomy 9:26) it is a prominent petition deprecating God’s anger against the people. This explanation suits the fifty-eighth and fifty-ninth also. Asaph uses it for the seventy-fifth, in the scope of which there is allusion to some emergency. Michtam — (See on Psalms 16:1, title). To an earnest cry for divine aid, the Psalmist adds, as often, the language of praise, in the assured hope of a favorable hearing.

_ _ my soul — or self, or life, which is threatened.

_ _ shadow of thy wings — (Psalms 17:8; Psalms 36:7).

_ _ calamities — literally, “mischiefs” (Psalms 52:2; Psalms 55:10).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Psalms 57:1-6

_ _ The title of this psalm has one word new in it, Al-taschithDestroy not. Some make it to be only some known tune to which this psalm was set; others apply it to the occasion and matter of the psalm. Destroy not; that is, David would not let Saul be destroyed, when now in the cave there was a fair opportunity of killing him, and his servants would fain have done so. No, says David, destroy him not, 1 Samuel 24:4, 1 Samuel 24:6. Or, rather, God would not let David be destroyed by Saul; he suffered him to persecute David, but still under this limitation, Destroy him hot; as he permitted Satan to afflict Job, Only save his life. David must not be destroyed, for a blessing is in him (Isaiah 65:8), even Christ, the best of blessings. When David was in the cave, in imminent peril, he here tells us what were the workings of his heart towards God; and happy are those that have such good thoughts as these in their minds when they are in danger!

_ _ I. He supports himself with faith and hope in God, and prayer to him, Psalms 57:1, Psalms 57:2. Seeing himself surrounded with enemies, he looks up to God with that suitable prayer: Be merciful to me, O Lord! which he again repeats, and it is no vain repetition: Be merciful unto me. It was the publican's prayer, Luke 18:13. It is a pity that any should use it slightly and profanely, should cry, God be merciful to us, or, Lord, have mercy upon us, when they mean only to express their wonder, or surprise, or vexation, but God and his mercy are not in all their thoughts. It is with much devout affection that David here prays, “Be merciful unto me, O Lord! look with compassion upon me, and in thy love and pity redeem me.” To recommend himself to God's mercy, he here professes,

_ _ 1. That all his dependence is upon God: My soul trusteth in thee, Psalms 57:1. He did not only profess to trust in God, but his soul did indeed rely on God only, with a sincere devotion and self-dedication, and an entire complacency and satisfaction. He goes to God, and, at the footstool of the throne of his grace, humbly professes his confidence in him: In the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, as the chickens take shelter under the wings of the hen when the birds of prey are ready to strike at them, until these calamities be over-past. (1.) He was confident his troubles would end well, in due time; these calamities will be over-past; the storm will blow over. Non si male nunc et olim sic eritThough now distressed, I shall not always be so. Our Lord Jesus comforted himself with this in his sufferings, Luke 22:37. The things concerning me have an end. (2.) He was very easy under the divine protection in the mean time. [1.] He comforted himself in the goodness of God's nature, by which he is inclined to succour and protect his people, as the hen is by instinct to shelter her young ones. God comes upon the wing to the help of his people, which denotes a speedy deliverance (Psalms 18:10); and he takes them under his wing, which denotes warmth and refreshment, even when the calamities are upon them; see Matthew 23:37. [2.] In the promise of his word and the covenant of his grace; for it may refer to the out-stretched wings of the cherubim, between which God is said to dwell (Psalms 80:1) and whence he gave his oracles. “To God, as the God of grace, will I fly, and his promise shall be my refuge, and a sure passport it will be through all these danger.” God, by his promise, offers himself to us, to be trusted; we by our faith must accept of him, and put our trust in him.

_ _ 2. That all his desire is towards God (Psalms 57:2): “I will cry unto God most high, for succour and relief; to him that is most high will I lift up my soul, and pray earnestly, even unto God that performs all things for me.” Note, (1.) In every thing that befalls us we ought to see and own the hand of God; whatever is done is of his performing; in it his counsel is accomplished and the scripture is fulfilled. (2.) Whatever God performs concerning his people, it will appear, in the issue, to have been performed for them and for their benefit. Though God be high, most high, yet he condescends so low as to take care that all things be made to work for good to them. (3.) This is a good reason why we should, in all our straits and difficulties, cry unto him, not only pray, but pray earnestly.

_ _ 3. That all his expectation is from God (Psalms 57:3): He shall send from heaven, and save me. Those that make God their only refuge, and fly to him by faith and prayer, may be sure of salvation, in his way and time. Observe here, (1.) Whence he expects the salvation — from heaven. Look which way he will, in this earth, refuge fails, no help appears; but he looks for it from heaven. Those that lift up their hearts to things above may thence expect all good. (2.) What the salvation is that he expects. He trusts that God will save him from the reproach of those that would swallow him up, that aimed to ruin him, and, in the mean time, did all they could to vex him. Some read it, He shall send from heaven and save me, for he has put to shame him that would swallow me up; he has disappointed their designs against me hitherto, and therefore he will perfect my deliverance. (3.) What he will ascribe his salvation to: God shall send forth his mercy and truth. God is good in himself and faithful to every word that he has spoken, and so he makes it appear when he works deliverance for his people. We need no more to make us happy than to have the benefit of the mercy and truth of God, Psalms 25:10.

_ _ II. He represents the power and malice of his enemies (Psalms 57:4): My soul is among lions. So fierce and furious was Saul, and those about him, against David, that he might have been as safe in a den of lions as among such men, who were continually roaring against him and ready to make a prey of him. They are set on fire, and breathe nothing but flame; they set on fire the course of nature, inflaming one another against David, and they were themselves set on fire of hell, James 3:6. They were sons of men, from whom one might have expected something of the reason and compassion of a man; but they were beasts of prey in the shape of men; their teeth, which they gnashed upon him, and with which they hoped to tear him to pieces and to eat him up, were spears and arrows fitted for mischiefs and murders; and their tongue, with which they cursed him and wounded his reputation, was as a sharp sword to cut and kill; see Psalms 42:10. A spiteful tongue is a dangerous weapon, wherewith Satan's instruments fight against God's people. He describes their malicious projects against him (Psalms 57:6) and shows the issue of them: “They have prepared a net for my steps, in which to take me, that I might not again escape out of their hands; they have digged a pit before me, that I might, ere I was aware, run headlong into it.” See the policies of the church's enemies; see the pains they take to do mischief. But let us see what comes of it. 1. It is indeed some disturbance to David: My soul is bowed down. It made him droop, and hang the head, to think that there should be those that bore him so much ill-will. But, 2. It was destruction to themselves; they dug a pit for David, into the midst whereof they have fallen. The mischief they designed against David returned upon themselves, and they were embarrassed in their counsels; then when Saul was pursuing David the Philistines were invading him; nay, in the cave, when Saul thought David should fall into his hands, he fell into the hands of David, and lay at his mercy.

_ _ III. He prays to God to glorify himself and his own great name (Psalms 57:5): “Whatever becomes of me and my interest, be thou exalted, O God! above the heavens, be thou praised by the holy angels, those glorious inhabitants of the upper world; and let thy glory be above or over all the earth; let all the inhabitants of this earth be brought to know and praise thee.” Thus God's glory should lie hearer our hearts, and we should be more concerned for it, than for any particular interests of our own. When David was in the greatest distress and disgrace he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thy own name. Thus the Son of David, when his soul was troubled, and he prayed, Father, save me from this hour, immediately withdrew that petition, and presented this in the room of it, For this cause came I to this hour; Father, glorify thy name, John 12:27, John 12:28. Or it may be taken as a plea to enforce his petition for deliverance: “Lord, send from heaven to save me, and thereby thou wilt glorify thyself as the God both of heaven and earth.” Our best encouragement in prayer is taken from the glory of God, and to that therefore, more than our own comfort, we should have an eye in all our petitions for particular mercies; for this is made the first petition in the Lord's prayer, as that which regulates and directs all the rest, Father in heaven, hallowed by thy name.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

[[no comment]]

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Psalms 57:1

"(a) To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David, when he fled from Saul in the cave." Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until [these] (a) calamities be overpast.

(a) This was either the beginning of a certain song, or the words which David uttered when he stayed his affection.

(b) He compares the afflictions which God lays on his children, to a storm that comes and goes.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Psalms 142:1 [[Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.]] I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication.
1 Samuel 22:1 David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father's house heard [it], they went down thither to him.
1 Samuel 24:3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where [was] a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
1 Samuel 24:8 David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.


Psalms 56:1 [[To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.]] Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me.
Psalms 69:13-16 But as for me, my prayer [is] unto thee, O LORD, [in] an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation. ... Hear me, O LORD; for thy lovingkindness [is] good: turn unto me according to the multitude of thy tender mercies.
Psalms 119:76-77 Let, I pray thee, thy merciful kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant. ... Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law [is] my delight.


Psalms 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Psalms 13:5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
Psalms 125:1 [[A Song of degrees.]] They that trust in the LORD [shall be] as mount Zion, [which] cannot be removed, [but] abideth for ever.
Isaiah 50:10 Who [is] among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh [in] darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God.


Psalms 17:7-8 Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust [in thee] from those that rise up [against them]. ... Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,
Psalms 36:7 How excellent [is] thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.
Psalms 61:4 I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Psalms 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
Psalms 91:1 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalms 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.
Psalms 91:9 Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation;
Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust.
Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not!


Isaiah 10:25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
Isaiah 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
John 16:20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
James 5:10-11 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. ... Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Ru 2:12. 1S 22:1; 24:3, 8. Ps 9:10; 13:5; 17:7; 36:7; 56:1; 61:4; 63:7; 69:13; 91:1, 4, 9; 119:76; 125:1; 142:1. Is 10:25; 26:20; 50:10. Mt 24:22. Lk 13:34. Jn 16:20. Jm 5:10. Rv 7:14; 21:4.

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